Quickstep, DCNS sign MOU, signal that submarine supply a possibility

Composites technology company Quickstep and French defence company DCNS have signed a memorandum of understanding, covering cooperation in manufacturing of components and sub-assemblies.

CEO and managing director of Quickstep, David Marino, said that the application of their technology – currently focussed on aerospace and automotive industries – in marine defence was a “natural extension”.

“We are delighted to commence this partnership with DCNS which is an acknowledged world leader in naval defence systems,” Marino said in a statement.

“The MoU provides opportunities for Quickstep to participate in DCNS’s supply chain and for the potential use of our technology in submarine platforms in Australia and overseas.”

Sean Costello, CEO of DCNS Australia, said that the French company had started building a supply chain within the country for the Future Submarines project, led by DCNS and worth $50 billion in the building phase.

“Ultimately this supply chain will comprise several hundred companies across Australia and form the Future Submarine Enterprise,” he said.

A Quickstep/DCNS committee will consider the applications most relevant to Quickstep’s technology. Demonstration parts are expected to be made in the next 12 months.

Quickstep is a manufacturing and technology company, established in Perth and specialising in out-of-autoclave curing of carbon fibre composites. It is part of the Joint Strike Fighter program, and made its first shipment of components for this in February 2013.

It has since branched out into the automotive industry, and produces composite intake ducts for Ford’s XR6 Sprint vehicles.